Sometimes we would go to school

Sometimes we would go to school with our hands blistered and smelling of onions, which would remain even when washed with Clorox. We would return to school in our worn hand-me-downs that were at minimum clean to be called “cebolleros” (onion pickers).

Our living quarters, at that time, was a two-room shack and our furniture consisted of salvage finds. The communal bathroom and shower out back. My three sisters and I slept near a screened in door, where we would sometimes hear the “click-clack” of the steel drum wheels of the train as it worked its way through town.

As we got older and better acquainted with our surrounding’s, we moved into another house in a better part of town. This house was located right across from the only Roman Catholic Church in town. The church bell tolling its call to parishioners.

September came to be our favorite month. You could hear the sound of hammering coming from across the church signaling the preparations for the “Fiesta de Las Patrias.”  It would begin with a parade that would circle the town with dancers, a fire engine, and floats festooned with varied colored banners. The festivities of the fiesta taking over the width of the street and would begin Saturday morning with food, games, music and dancing and end Sunday night the same way.

We settled into our new home with relish. And although my mother still kept chickens, they no longer were a primary source of food. One afternoon, when the chickens constantly were flying the coop, it frustrated my mother, she sent us out to find and collect them. As soon as we had them corralled, she promptly began snapping the chicken heads off one-by-one by spinning them around in one hand. I can still remember the headless chickens still running around and doing a crazy, squawking chicken dance. Needless to say, my sisters and I refused to eat them.

After graduating from Dysart High School in the top three percent of my class of 100, I was offered a full-time position with the El Mirage Maricopa County Clinic. Throughout my years at the clinic, I volunteered in the immunization drive to protect children against measles in the Measles Epidemic of 1989, the Dysart Health Fair of 1992-1993, and various other community health fairs.

I became a U.S. citizen on September 17, 1999 along with about 800 other nationalities in the Phoenix State Fair coliseum. In 2005, I was awarded a certificate for Team Work Above and Beyond Expectation. The drive to always keep moving forward and striving to be the best I can be was instilled by my mother and brother.

I have now finally completed all the prerequisites required for the Maricopa Community College District Nursing Program at Phoenix College for the Bilingual Accelerated Program and accepted to start on 10/2006.

As you have read up to now, I have demonstrated that I always strive to better myself and be an example to those who say it can not be done or overcome. I am still very conscious of my hometown. My resolve tempered by childhood trial and adult experiences in my adopted homeland. With my college education, I plan to promote higher education for Hispanic women, my community and my family. My goal to acquire an Associate of applied Science in Nursing is foremost in my thoughts and homes. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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